Co-Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne today said that there was no issue with COPE members speaking to Arjun Aloysius, who was under investigation.
“It was COPE members who should speak to him. No one understands the issue regarding Bonds. Even I had to get it clarified by three well-known economists. So what is wrong with COPE members speaking to Aloysius for clarification?” he asked.
He said that the issue would arise only if a non- COPE member had dealings with Aloysius.
“It is more appropriate and justifiable if and when a member of the Parliamentary oversight committee COPE speaks to them,” he said.
The Minister was visibly annoyed when journalists questioned the Minister as to the dealings by former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who was not a member of the COPE committee.
Journalists pointed out that the evidence revealed that Karunanayake and his family had spoken to Aloysius over 750 times despite his evidence at the Commission to the effect that he did not know Aloysius intimately.
“You go and ask that from Ravi Karunanayake. I am not his lawyer and he isn’t paying me a fee to represent him,” he said.
He then questioned the dealings between Journalists and Arjun Aloysius and Mahendran. Journalists pointed out that contact with Mahendran was in the capacity of Journalists.
He also found fault with the revealing of the details of the phone conversations during the testimony but insisted that he found nothing wrong with COPE members maintaining contact.
“That is why I say that the bond scam has to be investigated by a team of foreign experts who are highly knowledgeable on this subject. Otherwise, we all are groping in the dark on this issue and truth will hardly come out on what exactly happened. Besides, COPE is not a court of law and its objective is to find the truth. However, it is wrong if the COPE Chairman spoke to Arjuna. I spoke to a number of economic and bank experts and all of them were of the view that bond scam was extremely controversial and difficult issue to give a complete solution,” Minister Senaratne stressed.
Minister Senaratne said he was fully against the appointment of Arjuna Mahendran as the Central Bank Governor in 2005 and added a speedier and thorough court inquiry was necessary to go to the bottom of the bond scam and punish those involved.
Minister Senaratne said the PCoI has instructed the CID through the Attorney General’s Department only to obtain details of telephone conversations between Arjuna and certain MPs and not what they talked.
“The entire country has confidence in President Maithripala Sirisena will do the needful after the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) handed over its report on bond scam to him on December 8. The legal process that will follow the recommendations of the PCoI will be fast and transparent,’ Minister Senaratne said.
Minister Senaratne said no one could correctly pinpoint the size of the loss if any of the bond scam. That is why some say the loss could reach Rs. 1 trillion. Do they exactly know what a trillion means? he asked.
Minister asked journalists as to why they never questioned what the friendship Arjuna had with MPS LIKE Namal Rajapaksa and who helped Rajapaksa family to deposit millions of dollars in Dubai bank accounts during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.
Minister Senaratne reiterated his displeasure over the slow progress of legal action against big sharks of financial and other crimes of the previous regime and added 17 files of major criminal acts are gathering dust at the AG’s Department and only three big cases of corruptions have been referred to the Bribery Commission for legal action. (Sandun A Jayasekera)
Piyumi Ferdinando Thursday, 23 November 2017 12:42 AM
Sudu Hunu Laabai neh?
Ram Thursday, 23 November 2017 01:45 AM
COPE members talking to Aloysius on the phone is unacceptable. Some have received a large number of calls and it needs to extract what was discussed if possible and tabled in Parliament. Why talk with a person under investigation so many times unless to attempt helping the person?
ravin Thursday, 23 November 2017 02:14 AM
few natural openings in human body. Do not know what opening he used to utter this?
Premalal Thursday, 23 November 2017 07:51 PM
This guy must have been a terrible dentist so he became a politician because that is where all scum bags go.
Sunil Thursday, 23 November 2017 02:59 AM
Does one need any more statements than this to prove that these goons are making a mockery of "yahapalanaya", to say the least? All these guys should be chased out.
Abey Thursday, 23 November 2017 05:52 AM
OK Mr Minister, clarifying with 3 or even 50 Economists is absolutely no problem. However, anyone clarifying with the thief Allosiyus is only to conspire to to help him or else or else only an IDIOT would do it. None of the MPs are idiots.
ordinary citizen gets only Rs 300,000 from presidents fund for a heart operation whereas this joker went to singapore spending millions of public money to attend to his health issue All politicians are the same UNP SLFP etc etc only exception being the JVP and the TNA
lanka Thursday, 23 November 2017 03:08 PM
You can't earn bond scam presentation money from a dentist's job! There are enough economic experts in Sri Lanka as such we do not need foreigners. Anyone with commonsense can see the fraud RW and his forty UNP rouges have done. Resign and get out.
Buddhi Perera Thursday, 23 November 2017 03:31 PM
Horu ekka heluwen
Rohan Thursday, 23 November 2017 04:01 PM
How could these Morons go to parliament?
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